EFCC arraigns Lagos prophet over fraud

EFCC araigns Lagos Prophet Cletus Ilongwo

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has arraigned one Prophet Cletus Ilongwo of the Holy Evangelical Ministry for alleged N59.7m fraud.

Ilongwo was brought before a Lagos State Special Offences Court on Monday for allegedly defrauding a former member of his church.

The suspect was said to have collected the sum amount in tranches through his Zenith Bank account from one Obinna Ezenwaka in 2016 on the pretence of helping him to purchase a property located at 165c, Diamond Estate, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos.

It was gathered that the pastor was arrested at his church located in Shoba community in the Abule-Ado area of Lagos on Saturday.

The suspect was initially arrested early this year by the police and the EFCC after Ezenwaka reported that he defrauded him of N85m, which eventually led to the loss of Ezenwaka’s job in one of the generational banks in the country.

Ilongwo was said to have jumped bail and left his surety to languish in the EFCC detention, while efforts to re-apprehend him proved abortive.

At Monday’s proceeding, Ilongwo who was dressed in a long red robe pleaded not guilty to all 11 counts bordering on fraud preferred against him.

In his plea, prosecution counsel, Ahmed Yerima, applied for a date for commencement of trial, while defence counsel, P.N Orji, informed the court of a pending bail application he filled on behalf of his client.

Yerima however, did not oppose the bail application but asked for time to respond to it.

In her ruling, presiding judge, Justice Sherifat Solebo, adjourned the case till November 14 and 19 respectively for hearing of the bail application and commencement of trial.

She, however, ordered that Ilongwo be remanded in prison pending the approval of his bail application.